Lauren Cho Case: Human Remains Discovered in California Desert in Search for Missing New Jersey Woman

Lauren "El" Cho has been missing since June 28, 2021.

The San Bernardino Sheriff's Department said it could take several weeks before the remains are identified and the cause of death is released, a report said.

Search crews looking for missing New Jersey woman Lauren Cho have discovered human remains in the California desert where she vanished, according to a published report. 

The “unidentified” human remains located in the rugged terrain of the open desert of Yucca Valley were discovered during the search for the missing 31-year-old woman Saturday, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement.

The remains were transported to the San Bernardino County Coroner’s Division where they will be identified and the cause of death will be determined, the release said. Officials said this could take several weeks until the identity of the deceased has been confirmed, CBS News reported.

Cho has been missing since June 28. She had been traveling with her former boyfriend cross-country before her disappearance. She was last seen in Yucca Valley in southern California, which is about 12 miles from Joshua Tree National Park, CBS News previously reported. 

Mara Rodriguez, a public information officer with the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, previously told Inside Edition Digital previously that Cho was staying at an Airbnb resort in the Morongo Valley with numerous other guests, including her former boyfriend. She said it was reported that during the evening of June 28 that Cho was upset and presumably walked away from the resort, leaving behind her personal belongings.

Approximately three hours later, Cho was reported missing by her former boyfriend and he indicated she was suffering from mental distress, according to Rodriguez.

She was last seen on a remote hiking trail in the Morongo Valley, located north of Palm Springs. 

Rodriguez said earlier this month Cho's former boyfriend, whose name they could not release, was fully cooperating with the investigation and the case was still being investigated as a missing person’s case. No suspects or persons of interest have been named in the case, Inside Edition Digital previously reported.

In July, Cho's family created the Facebook page Finding Lauren, which has garnered more than 6,600 followers. Over the last few months, the family has posted regular updates on the investigation and also shared intimate details about the missing woman, affectionally known as “El.” Cho was described as a classically trained soprano with a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, who has a passion for cooking and moved to the California desert in December in search of a new beginning.

On Sunday, the family posted on their website the latest news regarding the unidentified human remains found.  Many people expressed their condolences, while others sent their prayers hoping the remains found were not Cho's. 

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